The UFC bantamweight division has become one of the most exciting weight classes. The division is bursting with talent and could eventually overtake the lightweight division in terms of depth.
Former champions and legends Jose Aldo and Frankie Edgar jumped to 135 pounds for the opportunity to add another UFC championship to their legacy. With such a deep division, every fight has a big impact on the ranking and image of the title.
With more states and countries easing COVID restrictions, high-profile fights in the division could be an attractive selling point. You could count on the UFC’s top-ranked bantamweight for pay-per-views or for the upcoming ESPN cards of the main event. This list will take a look at 5 bantamweight fights the UFC should consider.
# 5. “Sugar” Sean O’Malley vs. Pedro Munhoz, 9th bantamweight
“Sugar” Sean O’Malley has become a fan favorite since his UFC debut in Dana White’s Contender series in 2017. O’Malley has received a Fight of the Night or Performance of the Night bonus on 5 occasions. This is impressive considering that O’Malley has only participated in 7 UFC fights. ‘Sugar’ is currently 6-1 in the UFC with his only loss via TKO to Marlon Vera in 2020. The UFC has received criticism for O’Malley’s opponents as there is a noticeable gap in the level of skill. This is evident in the betting odds for his fights, as he is generally an overwhelming favorite. After beating Kris Moutinho, it’s clear that O’Malley is ready for a test against one of the top 10 bantamweight.
Pedro ‘The Young Punisher’ Munhoz would be the perfect opponent for O’Malley. The current No.9 ranked bantamweight has fought some of the best in the division and has proven he can compete in the top 10. Some of Munhoz’s victories include a submission over Rob Font and a first round knockout against the former champion Cody Garbrandt.
O’Malley has garnered a lot of attention for his fights, however, his resume lacks a ranked opponent. Defeating a fighter of Munhoz’s caliber could align “Sugar” with the 135 elites.
“The Young Punisher” is set to face former champion Dominick Cruz on December 11 at UFC 269. Munhoz’s performance will dictate his position in the division and could set the stage for a fight with O’Malley. A victory over Cruz would be significant as it would be his second victory over a former bantamweight champion.
O’Malley-Munhoz has the potential to be an outright war.